AfPak Forces to Wipe Out Polio

AfPak Forces to Wipe Out PolioAfPak Forces to Wipe Out Polio

Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two remaining countries where polio is endemic, have joined forces to eradicate polio by vaccinating their children in synchronized campaigns. Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and the adjoining Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan have been declared a polio-endemic geographical block by the World Health Organization, ISNA reported. The countries – which share a 2,400 km porous border – have long been tackling opposition to the administration of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to children by the Taliban that was  toppled from power in Afghanistan in a US-led invasion in 2001, but has waged an armed campaign to re-establish its rule. “We have started synchronized immunization campaigns in KP, Fata and Afghanistan with a view to ensure vaccination of all children on both sides of the border,” said KP’s Health Minister Shahram Tarakai. “The 100,000 children whose parents refuse vaccination on both sides of the border pose a threat to the polio eradication campaign.” More than 60 polio cases reported last year were in Pakistan and Afghanistan.